Maryland is home to a number of aviation firsts: the first manned balloon ascent in the Western Hemisphere in 1784, the first aircraft carrier during the Civil War, the first airport and flight school at College Park, and the first commuter airline. The state has also been home to a number of aircraft manufacturers. These include Glenn L. Martin in Baltimore and Kreider-Reisner, later Fairchild, in Hagerstown, as well as Ercoupe, Berlin-Joyce, North American, and Curtiss-Caproni. Numerous civilian airfields and military air bases dot the Old Line State from the mountains in the west across the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore. This collection of historic photographs from a number of sources depicts Maryland's aviation pioneers, the manufacturing companies and the famous airplanes they built, and the state's airports and bases.
Author John R. Breihan is a board member of the Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum in Middle River, east of Baltimore. He is also a history professor at Loyola College.
The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country.
Written by John R. Breihan